What Causes Cavities

Categories: Children, Dental Tips

Did you know that anyone with teeth can develop cavities, even babies? Cavities are holes in teeth that are a product of tooth decay. They start out small and are hard to detect without regular dental checkups. Many people believe if there is no pain and they can’t see them, cavities are not really there. However, this idea could not be further from the truth!

Cavities can form a couple of different ways. The main cause of tooth decay is poor hygiene, as well as the consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks. Cavities form in an environment where tooth mineral is broken down. This creates a space for the tooth to be disintegrated, causing decay. First, plaque starts to cover the teeth. Plaque forms due to eating a high amount of sugar and starch without adequately cleaning your teeth. When our teeth are not properly cleaned, plaque hardens and continues to collect bacteria. Hardened plaque becomes very difficult to clean off your teeth without the help of a dental professional. Next, the plaque continues to coat your teeth and strip them of their minerals, creating decay. Holes are then formed, and the cavity continues to eat away at the tooth until it is filled. Regular dental visits are the best way to ensure proper oral health! There are many ways to prevent cavities. Check out our suggestions below!

How To Prevent Cavities:
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly
  • Watch what you eat
    • Limit sugary snacks and candy (and when you do eat them, BRUSH YOUR TEETH after)
    • Limit sugary drinks and sodas (and when you do drink them, BRUSH YOUR TEETH after)
    • Chew sugar-free gum
    • Don’t eat anything after you brush your teeth at night
  • Use fluoride
    • Fluoride stops bacteria’s ability to make acid
    • Fluoride can be found in certain toothpastes, gels, and mouth rinses
    • Fluoride can also be found in most tap water
  • Use Cavity-fighting toothpaste
    • Fluoride-based
    • Children can use fluoride-based toothpaste as soon as they are old enough to spit it out and not swallow the toothpaste
    • Ask your dentist about dental sealants
    • Follow your dentist’s advice
Here at River Dental, we want what’s best for our patients. We encourage everyone to come in for regular checkups so that we can provide you with the best, least painful, and most affordable treatment plans. Make sure to brush and take care of all your teeth daily!